Top hotel websites criticised as “dysfunctional”

Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Sheraton websites not optimised

Virtually the entire hotel industry has been criticised as being behind the curve when it comes to websites and web marketing in a report by the independent US-based technology and market research company Forrester Research. The content and functionality of four of the biggest 4-star hotel brand websites – Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts – were reviewed for the report. It says that “in 2011, hotels will produce $27 billion in online sales from US leisure and unmanaged business travellers” but adds that this amount could be far higher. Forrester has tested the websites in a range of areas, such as inspiration, brand clarity, loyalty programs and international accessibility, and concludes that none are good enough.
“To optimise selling performance, travel eBusiness pros should examine the relevancy, visibility and usefulness of their sites’ basic functionality in areas like navigation, planning and mobile, and embrace innovative, relevant functionality in planning, purchasing and social media that can contribute to greater growth,” the report states.
New York Hospitality by Vijay Dandapani
[pictured: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge]